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Hundreds of Helpful Articles

We have created hundreds of articles on topics all authors face in today’s literary landscape. Get help and advice on Writing, Marketing, Publishing, Social Networking, and more. Each article has a Comments section so you can read advice from other authors and leave your own.

Being A Writer Is Not Enough

You may believe that good writing should sell itself. Many writers do. In an ideal world, this should be how the world works.The best writers should get hired. The best scripts should get soldThere’s an old saying you may know that goes like this:

“Write something great and the world will beat a path to your door.”

But this just isn’t true anymore. Competition is fierce and the writer of today has to be more than a writer, he needs to be an excellent publicist, marketer and social butterfly. In today's publishing world, the people who make the decisions are not evaluating your writing, well, not at first. At first, they are assessing the following:

How did they find out about you?

Do they like and trust you?

Does it seem like you “get it?”

Can you handle yourself in meetings?

In other words, you have to be a great writer to do the job. But to get the writing job in the first place depends on abilities that have nothing to do with writing.If you want to get the job in the first place, you will need to shine above everyone else.

Focus on your main talent. What makes your writing style stand out? If you are unsure, ask your readers, they will be happy to give you feedback. Then include this in your initial query letter. Is there a particular passage in your book that you are proud of, can this be woven into the letter?

Once you have grabbed the publisher's attention, the next task is pitching your idea. This is one of the most difficult things for a new writer to do because you have to sell yourself as well as your work. The best advice I can give is to go into the meeting prepared. You will need to show there is a gap in the market that your book would fill. Who are your potential readers, who is your main competition and why is your book better? Is there a commercial market for your genre? How big is this market?

Another great asset to have is an ability to glow in any social setting. I have written a previous article on networking so I will just briefly summarise that to network affectively you need to listen effectively and ask questions with a genuine interest. At some point, you will meet someone in a social setting who can make a big difference to your career, so practice your communication skills and alway be prepared for that moment. Your ability to secure a meeting with that person and triumph will depend on how well you understand what to do and how much practice you’ve had doing it.

So understand your strengths and really believe in them. Believe what you have to offer is unique and in great demand. You need to start learning the steps needed primarily to grab their attention, then to pitch your book like a professional, and then be able to light up a room as you enter it. You never know when that opportunity will present itself. When it does, that’s not the time to get ready. That’s the time to be ready.

Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Lesley Jones